Facebook’s New Year Resolutions

Posted Jan 3, 2007

Recently on the Facebook blog, Katie Geminder, Facebook Director of Product, wrote about some upcoming changes that will take place for one of the top social networks. The features that Facebook are looking to improve are the Networks, making the website simpler, and more flexible.

“The network structure is one of Facebook’s defining features, and we won’t be taking that away. However, we will be trying to hone in on what makes networks on Facebook similar to those in the ‘real-world,’ and how to make them more relevant to each user’s experience on the site” wrote Geminder. Facebook’s networks consist of colleges, high schools, cities, and companies. Belonging to a network is not mandatory, but recommended. Although the blog did not specify in what ways they would make the networks more “real world”-like, I am assuming that many more companies and cities will be added.

The blog post also did not specify how the company is planning on making the website more simpler. Facebook is the social network that I see as the simplest already, especially when comparing it to other sites like Orkut and MySpace. Perhaps the company may add more languages to accomodate international networks. Or perhaps, the company will integrate a slideshow feature in the My Photos section that is similar to Shutterfly rather than users having to click on the picture to move to the next picture in a photo album as I had suggested before.

Lastly, Facebook is planning on making the website more flexible. “Some need to keep in touch with a group of friends that are in ever widening geographic circles,” stated Geminder. “We’re going to be thinking more about the right ways to give you the controls you need over Facebook information, friends, and products.” Earlier this year, Facebook had introduced a News Feed feature that places updates from your friends on a user’s login homepage, which simply made information more accessible, yet so many users were not ready to adapt to this change right away. The blog post did not specify how Facebook would become more flexible, but I’m sure we will find out in the near future.

Facebook also allows suggestions from users for functionality improvement or to even suggest networks.